The Milwaukee Brewers couldn’t hold a 2-0 lead over the San Diego Padres Wednesday night at Petco Park, as the Padres tied the game with a ninth-inning home run and won it with a run in the bottom of the 10th, 3-2.
The loss cost the Brewers (73-60) the series against the Padres, as well as a chance to increase their lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central. The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Cardinals Wednesday afternoon, 3-1.
Instead, Milwaukee maintained its 1½-game lead over the Cardinals, while Pittsburgh climbed to within four games of the division lead.
Yovani Gallardo left with a 2-0 lead after throwing six scoreless, if messy, innings. Gallardo allowed three hits and walked three, but was helped by three double-play grounders. He did not strike out a batter for the first time in 206 major-league starts.
Milwaukee broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the top of the seventh against Padres’ right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne.
San Diego (62-70) got a run back in the bottom of the seventh against right-hander Jeremy Jeffress. Gyorko and Venable led off the singles and, with two outs, pinch-hitter Jake Goebbert laced a single into left-center that scored Gyorko.
In the bottom of the ninth, closer Francisco Rodriguez came on, but gave up a 2-0 home run to Rivera, a laser beam to left field that was Rivera’s ninth homer of the year.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, unhappy with the strike zone of home-plate umpire Mark Ripperger, came out to argue and was ejected. Despaigne, who struck out nine in seven innings, appeared to be getting pitches that Rodriguez didn’t get during the at-bat against Rivera.
Left-hander Zach Duke (4-1) came on in the 10th and walked Seth Smith and gave up a single to Yasmanu Grandal to start the inning. Cameron Maybin tried to bunt the runners over, but catcher Jonathan Lucroy pounced on the bunt and got the force at third.
It was Rivera who ended it when he grounded a single up the middle that scored Grandal.
The Padres scratched out the win despite leaving 11 runners on base and going just 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Jeffress allowed a run on three hits and struck out one in the seventh. Will Smith worked around a hit and a walk by striking out two in the eighth. Rodriguez gave up a walk and two hits while taking his fifth blow save and Duke was charged with a run on a walk and two hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Dale Thayer (4-3) worked a 1-2-3 10th and got the win for San Diego.
The bottom of the order caused the biggest problems for the Padres—Overbay, batting seventh, was 2-for-3 and Herrera was 2-for-4 out of the eighth spot.
Carlos Gomez was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, making him 0-for-9 with six whiffs in the final two games of the series after going 3-for-5 in the opener.
The Brewers have the day off Thursday before opening a three game series at AT&T Park in San Francisco at 9:15 p.m. Central on Friday. Right-hander Wily Peralta (15-8, 3.56 ERA) gets the ball for Milwaukee against Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (7-9, 3.78 ERA).